Dressing well is a skill and one that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to many of us. Making sure your shirt fits well and feels right is also a top priority so read on for a quick guide.
Just look back at some pictures of yourself from your teens and I bet there are a few in there that make you cringe and make you wonder why on earth you wore what you did! The truth is, it can take a lot of trial and error before truly learning what style reflects your personality best, but when you get it right, it can do wonders for your confidence and self-esteem.
Of course, it’s all too easy to not put that much effort into how you look but sometimes this can be even more time consuming than putting a little bit of time and energy into your appearance.
For example, how many times has an off the rack dress shirt caught your eye? Thinking it will be a quick and easy item to purchase and add to your work wardrobe, you buy it in a medium size and take it home. Come Monday morning, you put it on, look in the mirror and the cuffs are covered, the sides are loose, or the collar is too tight. In other words, the fit is rubbish meaning you either discard it and write off the money spent or have to take it back to the shop, taking up your time and effort on a wasted purchase.
While you may think it’s time consuming and too much like hard work to learn how to dress well, all it really takes is a little practice – nobody is born with the magical intuition of how to dress stylishly, but it is something that you can nurture every single day when you open up your wardrobe to get dressed.
A good place to start is to find the right shirt for you, the style and fit of this particular item can make or break any outfit you wear so it’s worth developing an eye for what shirt style suits you.
Here are 5 tips to take on board before buying any shirt
When it comes to achieving great style, wearing a shirt that fits you properly will solve the majority of style problems. Men tend to wear clothes that are too big for them, simply because this is what feels more comfortable or because they don’t know how it is supposed to fit in the first place. This throws your body proportions out of whack and the excess fabric can make you look shorter or bigger than you actually are as well as presenting a sloppy appearance.
Whereas the right fit can make you look effortlessly stylish, which is why it’s imperative to use a trusted resource such as the Gant Shirt guide, which has been a valuable companion for many men looking to establish the right fit for them.
The number one rule is if it doesn't fit you properly then it’s simply not worth buying, to help you avoid this, you can find the perfect shirt by using the GANT shirt size guide mentioned above. It provides a clear comparison guide on how to distinguish the differences between signature fits and deciding what is right for you, whether that be fitted, regularly, slim, extra slim or loose fit.
It also offers clear instructions on how you can properly measure a shirt in two ways – by garment measurements and body measurements, all you’ll need is a tape measure and someone to help you. This will help you to determine things like the right shirt collar fit and the right shirt sleeve fit.
Consider these details when choosing a shirt too:
There is no point trying to fit a square peg into a round hole so it’s worth thinking about what matters most to you when picking a shirt. Undoubtedly, you’ll be able to find a shirt that works well for you and makes you feel dressed and relaxed at the same time but what is more important? Is it comfort and ease over style?
This will help guide you on deciding what material, colours, collar type, buttons and tailoring your shirts should have.
On that note, consider the following to help you find the right shirts for you to cover all occasions.
Any shirt be it for work, casual, a night out or formal wear should look good, drape well and be comfortable, and achieving this relies on quality fabric. List all the settings that you’ll be wearing your shirts to and decide which shirt fabric is most appropriate for each. Whatever material you choose, try and make sure that it is made with 100% natural fibres as your skin will breath much easier and it will last much longer than synthetic mixes, which can make you sweat and cause skin irritation.
Colour and patterns
It’s worth considering what colours and patterns suit you – think about your body type, your skin tone and your personality when choosing a design that is right for you. Is there a colour that you have always felt good in? What vibe are you trying to achieve? Different colours will be required for different occasions and seasons so think about the look you want to pull off for each – trust and credibility, a unique style, laid back casual, bright, bold and floral? If you don’t know then get experimenting to find out what works for you.
A collar isn’t just there for the sake of it, it frames your face and can play a role in accentuating or downplaying your facial features. There are many different styles to choose from so find out which will do you the most justice. You can pick from classic collars, spread collars, wing tip and button-down collars to name a few. Try a few for size and see what suits you best and you feel most comfortable in.
They may seem like an insignificant thing to think about when finding a shirt, but they do matter, one missing or loose button can throw off the whole look. You’ll want secure and sturdy fastenings that match the shirt and open and close easily. Always check the quality of the buttons and the size of the buttonholes on the shirt too, buttonholes that are too tight or too big will just serve to irritate you.
Is there anyone who’s style you think looks good and that you would like to try and replicate? This could be someone you know or work with, it could be a celebrity or an athlete or even a fictional character. Is there someone that has the same build as you that you admire and think wears their shirts well?
Take inspiration to help you decide which direction you would like to go in. Note down what it is about the shirts they wear that really appeal to you and start trying them on for size.
Don’t feel like you need to jump in headfirst and do it all at once. Take your time and build up your confidence by experimenting on a step by step basis. First, get the fit right and then start with neutral, classic styles of shirt so you don’t feel like you are jumping outside of your comfort zone too soon.
When you feel ready, start trying on different colours, styles and patterns, you can then break the shirt in so you get used to wearing it – this could simply be wearing it around the house or going shopping with it on. This way you let your confidence grow as you work to improve your style.